Nice things often come in small packages at this time of year. Here is a gift I found recently. I hope you like it.
This is Evan Marshall’s memory aid for writing action or reaction sequences so your writing is logical and smooth. F-A-D stands for feelings/thoughts, action, dialogue.
A heroine’s feelings or thoughts come first. This may need a paragraph or a page, or she may have a split second flash.
The she reacts to what she has felt (or thought) with a physical action. She freezes. She smiles. She looks around frantically. She throws her arms around her lover’s neck. The action is justified by her just-stated inner state.
Finally she speaks. What she says will advance the story because it will invite a response reaction from whoever is in the scene with her.
Here’s a non- F-A-D sequence:
“I’m sorry, Brad,” Amy said. “I’m just not ready.” Her hand trembled as she stared down at the small, black jeweler’s box. Her mind raced through her now familiar list of marriage pros and cons.
Here’s the same sequence using F-A-D:
As she stared down at the small, black jeweler’s box, Amy’s mind raced through her now familiar list of marriage pros and cons. Her hand trembled. “I’m sorry, Brad. I’m just not ready.”
Which sounds more logical? Which sounds smoother and more polished?
I think F-A-D. It’s a gift that will keep on giving to me.